More sneakiness and subterfuge from our so very loving non authoritarian leaders.
Lord Patel of Bradford, Baroness O'Cathain, Lord Walton of Detchant and Lord Faulkner of Worcester have tabled amendments to the Health Bill at the committee stage in the Lords that would allow the Health Secretary to ban or restrict the sale or supply of tobacco products if they are sold in packaging that does not comply with regulations.
If passed, the Health Secretary would also be allowed to dictate the colour of cigarette packs, their shape, the trademarks displayed on them and any labelling.
The proposals will strike fear into other consumer goods producers, who believe that, having imposed the measure on tobacco, the Government would seek to clamp down more aggressively on producers of alcohol, fast food and confectionery.
Tobacco companies — for whom branded packs are the only remaining form of advertising in the UK — have always argued that plain packaging would lead to more counterfeit cigarettes entering the UK, hitting the Government's tax take from tobacco. They say that this is because smokers would find it harder to differentiate between their brands and counterfeits.
They have also argued that plain packaging on tobacco and bans on displays in shops have, where introduced, failed to bring down rates of smoking.
In Saskatchewan, the first Canadian province to ban displays of cigarettes in retailers, the proportion of adults who smoked rose from 21 per cent in 2002, when the ban was introduced, to 24 per cent in 2003.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, the health campaigning charity, said recently: “The tobacco display ban will help to reduce youth smoking." Which flies in the face of the statistics available from almost everyone but ASH.
She went on to say a load more bollox about non existent reasons for being a smug self satisfied bitch. You can read more about ASH and its fakery here.